East Texans Speak Out On Physician-Assisted Suicide - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/18/06-Tyler

East Texans Speak Out On Physician-Assisted Suicide

  Opinions vary for Mary Sue Cole, Curtis Trevathan, Dean Brookshire and Sandy Portnoy when it comes to physician-assisted suicide.
  "I'm against it," says Curtis. "I believe people ought to die naturally," says Dean. "Withholding artificial means of life in a sense is assisting in death," says Sandy. "My husband was given morphine so he could die," says Mary.
 For doctors like Steven Brown with UT Health Center in Tyler, medically speaking, the supreme court decision sets a great precedence. "So this is actually a victory for both physicians and patients because the control of medical care with these substances will now reside at the state level," says Dr. Brown.
  "When I see an appropriate, if you will, physician-assisted suicide is when we have fought every possible way to postpone, to manipulate, to push death as far away as possible to cherish every moment and blessing in life," says Pastor Jeff Wilson of First Christian Church. Pastor Wilson says death is not the enemy and does not mean defeat. He believes physician-assisted suicide should not be classified as what we understand as taking our own life. He makes his point through scripture before Jesus died on the cross. "'When He had received the drink,'" says Pastor Wilson reading from the book of John. "'He said 'it is finished' and with that He bowed his head and gave up His spirit.' And nobody tells us and I would never say that Jesus committed suicide. But He embraced death and He gave up his spirit at the appropriate time when life had given up on Him," says Pastor Wilson.
  For folks likes Curtis, he has already taken advantage of writing a living will so everyone in his family know where he stands on this controversial issue. "I don't want any life support equipment. Just go ahead and let me die."

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

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